Tuesday, November 27, 2012

jolly holiday :: kim + a giveaway!

today my friend kim is sharing.
i love her. we have hung out several times in real life now & i'm so thankful for what she is sharing today.
it gets real. and really good.
AND...there's a giveaway at the end!

Hello Friends of Katygirl! 
My name is Kim and I blog over at A Cuppa Kim.
Last year, Katygirl invited me to share a little Christmas Cheer over here and I showed you all my cute little Paper Christmas Bunting. I can't wait to hang it from my fireplace again this year. 

Katy asked me to share again. 
Something that would put you all in the Christmas spirit. 

And, I'll tell you. 
Baking, and candy cane stripes, and the smell of a cinnamon pinecones.
A fire in the fireplace, bare tree branches, and jingle bells.
All of those things. In abundance.
They are Christmastime to me.

But sometimes, I let all of those things get in the way of WHY we haul out boxes of stuff with a weird old man on it. Or hoofed creatures with antlers. Or men made out of snow with carrot stick noses. 

Because of ONE MAN. 
Who came to earth. 
In the form of a BABY.
Who was born to die.
On a cross.

{screeching halt}

So, in the midst of the goodness and joy.
And the cheerfulness that is overflowing, I want to embrace all things Christmas.
Sleighs, and reindeer, and snowmen, and even Santa Claus. 

But I want to do it with a heart focused on Christ. 
Born in a manger.

Because, could you celebrate Christmas, without Christ?
Like, if you took away the entire Nativity Story, God coming to earth, what would your holiday look like?
Would it be the same? 
Would it still be jolly?
I'll be honest and say, for me a lot of the time the answer is yes. 
I  often celebrate Christmas without Christ.

So this year, I am starting my Christmas season in the Bible.
Which tells me the story, the true story, of the birth of Emanuel {God with Us}.
I need that story.
I crave that story.

I want that story to seep into every inch of tinsel and every sugar cookie.
I want my joy for Jesus to increase as my bank account decreases.
I want to love others more patiently, more gracefully, and more intentionally,
because He first loved us.

And so, on my grown up Christmas list,
of traditions that is,
include three things.

The Nativity Story

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Glory in the Highest

These are three amazing ways that help me keep Christ the forefront of Christmas.
Especially the book, it is an amazing way to do an grown up advent. 
There are 22 short chapters that take us through the anticipation and birth of Christ. 
Written by a spectrum of incredible authors. 
Get this book, and start or end your day with it.
Let it guide you through a Christ-centered Christmas Season.

Shane & Shane put on an amazing Christmas show - if they are touring near you I highly recommend it.
But, if you are like me, and won't be seeing them in person this year, listen to this album. 
On repeat. 
And sing your heart out.

And lastly, gather your family (and friends) and watch the Nativity Story. 
I love SEEING what it must have been like 2000 years ago, in Bethlehem.

And I want to give one of each of these to one of you!
All you have to do is leave a comment sharing what makes it a Jolly Holiday for you.
Because of Christ, we can celebrate, and immerse ourselves in this wonderful season.
Because of what He has done, we can enjoy Christmas with a Peace that surpasses all understanding.

Is is paper snowflakes, or carol singers, or scarves and mittens?
Is it scented candles, or twinkle lights, or your ugly Christmas sweater?

Tell me.
And Katy will pick a winner on Monday!

And in the mean time, grab your Bible, start in the Book of Luke and get reading.
May your joy this season be drawn from the ultimate joy-giver!
Merry Christmas!

okay ladies.
leave a comment here about what makes it a jolly holiday!
and i'll tell you on monday who wins this amazing CD, DVD, & book!
thank you, kim!


  1. Laying under the Christmas tree with my son makes it a joyful holiday. We actually lay there and look up at it. I love the simplicity and the wonder he has about it all.

  2. Great post, Kim. I've never heard of these Shane and Shane folks you speak of but I'm headed out (in the land of internets) to get that cd! Thanks for all the resources, goodness knows I can't be reminded enough of why we celebrate Christmas!

    Thanks Katy, this series is pretty awesome.

    1. lesley! that is crazy to me. they are practically neighbors to you - they are from texas. ;) anyway, check it out! including their non christmas stuff too!

  3. Christmas has changed a lot since having a kiddo, obviously. i love sharing the meaning of Christmas with my son...it just makes the story that much more meaningful. and this year, he is old enough to kind of get the spirit of giving so we bought a gift for him to give the "soliders" at toys for tots and we give him money to put in the salvation army canister outside stores. i love seeing him get excited to share and then explaining why we are giving to others. and it really makes me realize how seriously blessed i am.
    p.s. i am totally going out and making the garland today ;)

  4. A lit up Christmas tree and a decorated mantle (including a nativity, but without baby Jesus, who doesn't make it out until Christmas morning) make it a jolly holiday for me.

  5. So thankful to see Christ pointed out as the celebrated one! Great post and giveaway!

  6. a jolly holiday for me...means wrapping the gifts that will make the kids (little and BIG) squeel with delight. I get so stinkin excited, my husband has to prevent me from giving them away early...

  7. Okay this is going to be cheesy & cliche but it's true. What makes a good holiday season for me is celebrating traditions that make sure my kids know it's all about Jesus. Yes,we do Santa but when I know they're really getting the "reason for the season" I consider it a success.

    P.S. I saw this book on the Free Kindle Books list and immediately downloaded it. I think it would be the perfect addition to your list! And it's free so everyone's a winner! :)


    1. AWESOME, thanks Kelly! just sent that to my kindle!

  8. Being with family is what makes it jolly for me. Love that sweet time together!

  9. i've never watched this version of the nativity story...the book sounds amazing and i'm going to check out the album. i've never heard of shane & shane.

  10. Kim, you're so great! What a great truth today!

    Hmm a jolly holiday definitely comes with some slow time with my family celebrating Jesus!!

  11. I absolutely needed to hear this this morning. Thanks for sharing your heart Kim! Family is what makes the holiday sweet for me :)

  12. awesome, kim.
    and so timely and needed.

    a jolly holiday is so many things,
    but a dark room with a lit tree and fudge on a platter ranks pretty high for me.

    GETTING this book...one way or another. :)

    {hi katy!!!!}

  13. I just love pulling out all the old ornaments for our tree. Not the ones that were purchased. The ones that were hand made. For us, or by us. My kids love seeing the ones I made when I was a kid and I love remembering their pudgy lil hands bringing home wrapped christmas ornaments that they made in presschool :)
    PS I would really love to read that book! I love reading + I love advent calendars + I love baby Jesus (seriously my imaginary friend was named Baby Jesus)

  14. I really love receiving gifts... I am an expert receiver. But honestly, the jolly, the JOY comes in the giving. Most people give a little more with a bigger smile this time of year.

  15. I love receiving. I mean, I am an expert receiver. But the jolly, the JOY, comes in the giving. I love how most people give a little more with a bigger smile this time of year.

  16. oh my cuppa-awesomeness, you've outdone yourself with this guest post!!

    christmas to me is all about the giving, the searching high and low for the perfect gift, and then sitting back and watching it all unfold.
    joyous, most joyous!

  17. I love, love, love Shane & Shane. I wish they were coming to my area for their Christmas concert with Phil.

    The holidays are jolly for me because of my Jesus and my family!

  18. What makes the holidays jolly for me is my Jesus and my family!

  19. what a neat giveaway! thanks katy & kim for putting it on.

    what makes a jolly holiday for me is being able to spend time with my loved ones. and a thousand other things- but the time with loved ones is ranked pretty high up there.

  20. Such a great reminder as we enter my favorite season of the year! Thanks for sharing, Kim!

    I love how the Christmas season lends itself to building traditions and memories with my family. It is so hard to beat the glow of Christmas lights, Christmas music on Pandora and a hot cup of coffee/cocoa/tea!! :)

  21. Christmas music. That's what does it for me. All day, everyday, if I could get away with it! Thank you for sharing Kim!

  22. I love sitting by the Christmas tree eating homemade cookies with all of my special guys (my husband, our two sons and our cat :) Happy Holidays everyone!!

    Great name Katy!

  23. beautiful post!!!
    jolly holiday for me = holiday bayberry candle, Christmas music (from natalie grant to relient k to enya!), fireplace glowing, coffee with peppermint mocha creamer, white snow reminding me that my sins have been washed as white as snow, and that expectant hope this season brings, all leading up to the JOY of celebrating my savior's birth :)

  24. I love listening to all the Christmas/worship music this time of year! Also, this is my all-time favorite month of the year to get mail -- love those holly, jolly Christmas cards!

  25. Sitting in my living room with my family looking at our Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music (specifically my favorite Christmas songs, like Oh Come Let us Adore Him & O Holy Night) Seriously brings tears to my eyes even typing it. I LOVE Christmas music & my lit tree!
    Thanks for a fun giveaway. I LOVE Shane & Shane. Don't have their Christmas album yet!!!

  26. I get into the holiday mood by baking...it's both a blessing to my friends and family and a curse to my butt, but hey!!! HA!!! I love Shane and Shane! I'm a born and raised TX girl who has been a Shane fan for years!! I'd so love this album and I've been telling my husband that we need to own The Nativity Story! It's a must watch at Christmas for us, but we've always just borrowed it! It needs a home at my house! HA!!!! Great giveaway, Kim!!!

  27. We love watching the Nativity Story each Christmas. Maybe we'll bust it out tonight, even! The Advent book sounds amazing- I really like that idea. Growing up we did Advent with the candles and all, but I've lost that since I became an adult. I've been trying to get us back to doing that. And I LOVE Christmas music! I haven't heard the Shane & Shane one, I don't think, so I will have to listen to that ASAP!

    My favorite part of the holiday (besides the Reason) is sitting in the dark living room looking at the Christmas tree with all its twinkly lights while watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa and eating Christmas baking goodness!

  28. It's definitely the music for me, but the lights with the music is the best!

  29. I could say so many things, but the most that makes my holiday jolly is my son. He is seven and ever since he realized that you get gifts for Christmas, he has spent the entire month of December just full of more joy than normal :) He of course knows that Christmas is about Christ and everything else is secondary to that, but he's a kid and I can remember my joy and excitement as a child this time of year!
    Would love to win any of these things..thank you for the opportunity!!

  30. Wow-I'm not sure if I can come up with just one thing that makes My Savior's birthday so great...but it must be the excitement (chaos) that our two children bring to the season!

  31. yes yes yes.
    all three of these things i love for christmas!
    also, i love you both.

    a jolly holiday to me is cozy quilts, a gingerbread candle and twinkle lights with my fam.
    *big puffy snowflakes falling in the background, obvs.*

    there's more, but that'd be a long a comment.

    thanks for the chance, if i win, i'll gift this amazing bundle to a friend, since i have it:)

  32. Thanks for the reminder to put Christ in Christmas!! It's so easy to get carried away with all the "wrappings". What makes me jolly? Putting up a real tree with all of our ornaments that we have collected through the years...the memories that come with each one.

  33. Bomb {dot} com whipped cream makes my holiday jolly. Pick me.

  34. being with my family and drinking hot cocoa...thanks for the chance!

  35. Loved this! 2 yrs ago we started the Advent reading with our kids and it is awesome. It really has helped us keep the focus on what Christmas is truly about.

  36. Such a beautiful post! This year the Christmas Story is really coming alive for my little ones and it does my heart good to hear them sing " his name is Jesus. The perfect gift!...."

    Of course while drinking a sbux peppermint mocha. Holla

  37. Amy Grant Christmas. Boom. Insta-Christmas sprit. Such a sweet post...

  38. The white crisp lights that fill our home with such peace and wonder!!

  39. I'd say music, lights, family, decorations, all the traditions from when we were young, instilling those in our little ones now. Baking, singing Christmas songs, Christmas cards, the list goes on!! :) Thanks for the giveaway and a chance to win! I've never seen that movie, and I would love to! :)

  40. I'd say the music, lights, decorations, family, baking, all the traditions we had growing up and now instilling those in our little ones now. Christmas cards, and baking for neighbors..... my list could go on really... Thanks for the chance to win, and the great reminder about the true reason for the season.

  41. Baking cookies!! Keeping up a tradition my mom started with us! My son is too little to really understand much but if I can get myself together, I want to bake some cookies, wrap em up pretty, and take him along to do some random acts of cookie capering! (I.e. leaving cookies on random doorsteps, knocking & running away) would you eat cookies left on your doorstep? I'm pretty sure I would! :)

  42. There are LOTS of things but what immediately came to mind is the K4-K5 choir i help with at church. For their Christmas performance they wear these white robes with big sleeves and HUGE red bows right in the front at the neck. They are so cute and so imp-like in their "angel" robes. It is just precious. That site keeps me smiling for days!

  43. Christmas cookies! Both tried and true recipes and new cookies and sweets.

  44. I love love love this holiday but what makes life Jolly this time of year is gathering my family together to rejoice together. I love the old nativity my mom puts up and the gingersnaps she always bakes, it all breaths Christmas into my heart.

  45. I love hearing my husband reading the Christmas Story to my son. I am very excited that we have a beautiful baby girl to join us as we'll this year!


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